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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have two girls, whom I love very dearly and are adorable little pets. Maybe it's just GGMR, but I decided I would like to have THREE little girls whom I can love dearly.

My girls are about 5 months old, maybe 6. I think they're sisters, but if not then I at least got them at the same time from the same pet store when they were the same size. But I was wondering, would it be okay to add a third, social wise? I assume, with proper introductions, space willing, and no personality clashes, that with rats it's "the more the merrier." They are colony creatures, after all.

But I just wanted to make sure my two girls I already have wouldn't beat up on the new one, or get territorial, or something. I was hoping to find a lonely girl somewhere to rescue to make three, so I expect the new girl would be fine having friends at last.

And I don't really want to go for four, because that feels like I would have crossed the line of reason. If I get four, then what's five? Or six? And if I already have six... You can see where this is going, and I feel like three would keep me on this side of that. So it has to be three.
 

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i introduced an older solo rat to two of my girls who were about 5-6 months old and had no problems whatsoever. meggsy was so happy to have company after a year on her own that she took to it like a duck to water, and soot & ash didnt mind either.

i also put spazz, cirrus & nimbus in with the 5 older girls a few weeks ago, and the only real problem has been loco picking on spazz, but she has learnt to go to meggsy for safety.

regardless of odd or even numbers of rats, they will pair themselves off however they see fit at the time.
 

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sometimes there are problems with intros, sometimes there aren't... there is no proven method of introductions that guarantee a successful intro 100% of the time

Trust me on this... presently I have two hard cases that have resulted in me having to set up an additional 2 cages for a total of 4 rather than my standard 2 cages of a boy's clubhouse & a girl's clubhouse.

I actually have a case where two biological sisters were separated for approximately 2 months & when the one sister who left returned to me the sister I kept freaked out. She wanted no part of her sister & she attacked her.

They had horrible bloody fights so I had to separate them. As it turns out the sister who remained with me turned on everyone she had lived with peacefully & now will only hang out with a new female that was a total stranger to her. This girl came to me along with her sister & two other rats. I have tried countless times to do intros & as soon as she sees any of the other girls she goes into attack mode. I've had to position cages so that she can't even see them across the room because she would just cling to the side of the cage all fluffed up.

There are many success stories on intros... I have my own to share but this does nothing to prepare people with the fact that some intros can go really bad. There are no sure fire ways to make an intro work. The only guarantee & the best advice I can offer you is to always bring rats in as a pair. If you bring in a solo rat you stand the chance of dooming that rat to a solo life.

So before you go out & get a third consider two things.

One: are you sure you really want more than two?

Two: If you really want more than 2 why not make it 4 instead of 3 just so you can assure number 3 won't be all on it's own
 

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There is certainly no guarantee that they will get along. You'll need to be prepared to keep them separated if the need arises.

All introductions are different, anyway. It will depend a lot on the new rat that you get and the temperment of your resident ratties.

I've just had an intro miracle with Lou (2 years old) who recently lost her sister, T-Baby. Lou and T had exactly the same personality - unreasonably aggressive to any other rat that wasn't each other or Katie (my older girl). I've never been able to house any other rats with them because they were so volatile. So, after T-Baby died 2 months ago, Lou has been alone and looking absolutely heartbroken. So I've spent 6 weeks working with her VERY slowly, introducing her to all (not just potential cagemates) in small numbers. It started off with blood and fur flying but last night I decided that it was time to put her with Max, Ivy and Daphne - this morning I woke up to the view of Lou happily grooming a sleeping Max as if they'd been together their whole life.

BUT. Saying that - 6 of my singletons (all boys) absolutely refuse to get along. I've been trying for almost a month to get Andy and Ritchie to tolerate each other, giving them an hour's play together in the bathroom every night, and both of them are so stubborn and headstrong - neither will relinquish their dominant title. So every night is a battle for supremecy - which I doubt is going to end soon. I'm hoping though that when it does end and they decide who's boss - they can have a little company at night.

You won't know what'll happen until you get your new one. As A1APassion says, why don't you get 4? That way, if things do go a little pickled, you can have 2 pairs and none will be left on their own?

And anyway - GGMR starts with only 1 rat - you're on that downward spiral already, why fight fate? lol :D
 

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(I didn't mention it in the brief story but all new rats did go through QT before intros were done, & for the sake of clarity I'm referring to rats by 1, 2, 3 & 4 rather than their names)

I currently have 4 boys & the only reason I have 4 is because I was trying to make sure #1 had a buddy. (side note: I actually have 5 boys but one is neutered & living with a group of 4 girls)

The short story is that when we brought home Fluffy & then discovered she was preggers we went back to where we got her & he was the only male she had contact with so we brought him home. Fluffy was unable to nurse her babies (lactation issues) so I took over & once they started eating & drinking on their own at 3 weeks I let the boys go live with Daddy. He loved those babies. He loved them more than peanut butter. Sadly, none of the babies survived to reach 2 months. I lost them one by one (Fluffy is gone now as well). He was so depressed. I went out to find him a buddy & brought home a lovely boy that was his approximate age. My thoughts, get him one his age so they can grow old together.

Well intros really seemed to be going great for several hours before I turned my back & literally took 5 steps away. It was bad.

Alrighty then... this isn't going to work.

In comes one more. BINGO, match made in heaven. I brought in a baby that was about 6 weeks old & they were fast friends. I tried #3 out with #2 & it was a no go... #2 remains on his own quite happily. Then we get an email about a PEW male needing a home... oh well, what's 1 more rat anyway. So in comes #4, he is living happily with the other 2 boys.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hmm. I would not want to doom any rat to a solo life, but I know I don't have the resources to keep two separate cages going...

It needs to be three to keep me sane, for one thing. And I wanted more than two so that if I took one away from some personal time with me, I wouldn't feel bad like I do leaving one alone on the bed. There would still be a friend. But four is just too many, I don't know why. I just feel it, and I've learned to trust that feeling.

But you're all right, too many things could go wrong... I wonder if there was somewhere I could get a rat on a test case? But since it would be a single rat, I would feel terrible if she found out she loved company but my girls didn't like her back. It's like teasing her, and that's rather cruel.

Hmm... I will think on this some more. I would really like three, but I can't have four, so it may stay just two. And that'll be fine, too...
 

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i'm sure if you discussed it with a rat rescue in your area they would let you have one, then if it didn't work out with your girls you could return the rat. she would have the rescue rats to keep her company until someone else took her home if you couldn't. but really i think the chances of both your girls hating a new comer to the point that the newbie couldn't live with them happily is small. its still there of course but generally rats are very social and most intros are successful though some can take longer then others.

what age were thinking for the newbie? if you can get a baby it would have a better chance of being accepted as babies are less often considered a threat. but then again, i've introed adults just fine as well.

if you are going the rescue route though maybe you can find one that does neuters at reduced costs and get a boy. i've heard and experienced the breeze of introing a boy to girls. i'm not exactly sure why its so easy but girls don't seem to care if a boy enters their group as much as they care about another girl. maybe the boy, being male, automatically has a different heirachy or something. i don't know. but it does work out that way in my experience and from what i've read.

anyway, just some ideas
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The main problem is is that there kind of isn't a rat rescue in my area. In fact, I go to school in North Dakota, and would have to get my rat there, too, and there's precious little of ANYTHING in North Dakota, except snow and the color brown.

I know from PetFinder that there's a rescue-y type place about... two hours away, I think, on some family's ranch. They kind of make me nervous, though. It sounds like their cat and dog rescue part is legit, but when you type in "rat" their description says "We have many fancy rats waiting for new homes- dumbo, hairless, and rex." It's said that for months. For some reason this list of desired traits being promised for non-specific animals rings alarm bells in my head. Or maybe I just spend too much time on Craigslist and am getting paranoid and judgmental by association.

A neutered boy would certainly be interesting. I hadn't thought about that, and I've only heard good things about fellows in a "harem" (though only two girls is a pretty small one, for sure :lol: ). Hmm, must give that more thought...

And I am glad to hear that you think my girls would still be open to a friend. I think so, they're both quite social, but sometimes I feel like they get sick of each other, and pick on each other too much, and a third might help even everyone out. Or, it would just add one more personality to the drama. Who knows...

As for age, I would prefer an older rat, or one about the same age as my girls. I understand, though, that this could be trickier to do an intro wtih an older rat, and so it might be just one more reason to stick with two and forget this whole having three thing. But I would prefer the new rat to be older because I'd rather have it die first. It sounds horrible, but hear me out. School ends in three semesters, and then I'll have a period of going to Europe, and then moving at least three times to three different states (North Dakota, Oregon, and Oklahoma, and then somewhere else, possibly Hawaii) within three or four months. It's just not going to be a pet friendly situation, so I don't plan on getting new rats after my girls cross the bridge until after I'm stable again. Therefore, my theory is that (hopefully, as it's totally out of my control, obviously) my girls will probably cross the bridge around the same time, give or take a couple months, and about the time I will be graduating. So if I get a rat about their age, then it will (statistically, based on average life span) die more or less near the same time as my girls. If I get an older rat, then it will die sooner (in theory), and my girls will still have each other for company for a while. It's a complicated theory, and based on so many factors that I have no control over, nor do I have anyway way of knowing how it will actually turn out, but it's the best plan I can have at the moment. And I need a plan, always, even if it's temporary.

Probably I should forget this wild and crazy scheme. But I thought I'd ask, you all know the desire to have more rats! Mmm, GGMR. There's a word for that in the fish world I'm in, too- MTS, Multiple Tank Syndrome. I had it bad for a while, but I think I'm finally over it, and luckily stopped before I went over the brink of reason. Hopefully this GGMR thing will run it's course, too.
 

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If it makes you feel any better, I have had NO problems with girls and intros. ;) We've started making larger female "groups" in the rescue (either in cages if they're big enough, or just for playtimes) to make things easier, and I've not had ONE issue with girls. Not a one.

Boys? Oh geez, that's a whole different story. :p There's a reason I'm neutering all my boys and any future boys I own. Sheesh. ;)

That said, though, if you're not 100% sure, I'd wait on it. Also, that rescue does sound a bit fishy. I'd at least shoot them an email asking about the rats... See what they say.
 

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[align=center]Thats funny Kimmiekins because I know someone who is having a **** of a time with girls and has a colony of unaltered boys who took to eachother on the first try! :p[/align]
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So I was browsing Craigslist as I am wont to do, and I found this little dear. And it's the second time she's been posted, poor girl.

She's a loner, about 8 months old, so I would guess one or three months older than Belgie and Sevilla. She's black hooded, so nothing special in the looks department, and the poster didn't say a thing about her temperament. But it looks like an interesting hood, and she looks like a sweetie. I just feel so bad for her. And I also feel like I might be able to help her, which is a bad combination.

The main troubles here is that I'd have to pick her up the same day I get back to the midwest area, and she'd have to endure a 5 hour drive from MSP to Grand Forks. My girls did it, they're fine, but they are also rather socialized and had each other, and knew me. This girl may be social, but she doesn't have a friend to comfort her, nor would she know me.

She comes with a cage, a Super Pet something I think, which I'm already plotting to make into a franken-cage with the one I'm picking up on Saturday by cutting off some of the bars from the top of the one that would come with the new girl, and putting the other cage on top. If that were to happen, I would definitely have enough cage room for them all, with some to spare (but I would not add more rats. Don't let me!)

The really crazy part is that she's in Apple Valley, which just happens to be where my boyfriend lives, and where I will be spending the night before I got up to school. So she'd be RIGHT THERE...

The drawbacks are a) I wouldn't be able to send her back if it didn't work out with my girls, though I feel like it should, who knows what would happen. b) I wouldn't know where to quarantine her. But since she's been all by herself this whole time, how necessary would that be? Therefore, this may actually be a plus for her, since I wouldn't know where to quarantine any other rats, either. c) I wouldn't have set up the new cage yet. BUT this may also be an okay thing... I would continue using her cage for her and my girls' cage for them during intros, and the move them all into the new cage all at once. That way no one would feel like it was theirs. d) I know this sounds bad, but I was really hoping for a dumbo. But then I also had fears I would develop some kind of preference for the theoretical dumbo, since she'd be the "special" one. This girl would blend in better with the markings my girls already have.

so-
Pro-
-on her own, so 1 plus 2 equals 3 like I'd like.
-she's about the same age as my girls, a little older
-she comes with a cage which I could mold for my own purposes
-she's easily accessable

Con-
-couldn't return her if it didn't work out (the one I'm mostly worried about. But I suppose I could try to place her again myself. Except I'd feel really bad about it)
-semi con- plain looks, though I know it's about personality, so this isn't a deal breaker by itself.
-semi-con- it seems quite soon, I'm not even with my own girls again yet! But then again, there really aren't rescues in my area, I'd have to go back down to the MSP area probably, anyway. So this save me a day of driving by getting her now...

Sorry I ramble. But I don't want to bring it up with my mother yet because I feel like she's heard enough for a little while, and normally this is how I work things out bouncing ideas off my mother...

Thanks for your input!
 

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it sounds like you have more pros then cons as even a couple of your cons seem to be more on the side of pros. it also sounds like all the stipulations you wanted to have a new rat are filled with this girl.

i don't think she would mind the car trip really. she'll probably sleep most of the way. that has always been my experience with rats (even ones that are on their own for the trip) over long distances. just make sure she has a fruit like watermelon to much on to keep her full and hydrated.

about the quarantine though? what's in your area and can you trust the person who is offering her to tell you the truth about health issues? can you accept the risks of not following a quarantine? is it possible that your boyfriend could house her for the few weeks of a quarantine for you?

you may also want to contact them about temperment issues and why she is being offered for the second time on craigslist? is this the same person as before or a new owner that is offering her up?

after that i think you should talk with your mom to make sure its ok to have another rat in the house. it would be terrible if you get her all the way home and then to find out you can't keep her.

and finally of course you want to double check that you will have the funds for an extra rat's vet care. i'm sure you've already thought of this but it doesn't hurt to double check before making the final decision.

and of course if you do get her we will want pictures. :D good luck, and keep us updated.
 

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there's no guarantee the two sisters will get along with the third rat. make sure to get a female rat and not a male for *those reasons.* this time it would be best to get her from a breeder, found on craigslist. that's where she'll be most likely presocialized, and ready to meet her two newest friends.

the best place to introduce your new rat to the other two sisters in the bathtub. other places will work, but just be sure they have a lot of open space so their is a backing of corner for the other rat.

oh no, not again... GGMR is back. lol :lol:

keep us updated when you get your new girl :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I called the lady about the rat today, and it sounds like this might work out pretty well!

Her name is Lola, but I have a feeling I'll be changing that (which the lady said was fine!), I had a neighbor named Lola whose husband I didn't really care for. He liked to cut down trees, and my dog, who was generally an excellent judge of character, always growled at him.

twitch said:
about the quarantine though? what's in your area and can you trust the person who is offering her to tell you the truth about health issues? can you accept the risks of not following a quarantine? is it possible that your boyfriend could house her for the few weeks of a quarantine for you?
I asked the lady about Lola's health, and she said it was fine as far as she knew. I don't know how much she knows, of course, but I asked if Lola had had any sneezing, or any contact with other rats since her purchase, which I assume to be about six months ago. She said no sneezing, and no contact. So I feel safe to assume that the rat is going to be as healthy now as she will be in three weeks, and I'm not likely to get much out of a quarantine. And no, I don't think my boy-o would be all that into having rats at his place. So I feel fine assuming any risks (which I feel are very minimal) for my girls by introducing this new one.

twitch said:
you may also want to contact them about temperment issues and why she is being offered for the second time on craigslist? is this the same person as before or a new owner that is offering her up?
By being offered a second time I meant that she had been listed, and no one called, I guess, so they renew the listing for her. Same person, no takers. I think I was the first person to call about the poor dear. I asked about her temperment, and I think she'll be alright. No reported bites, and apparently tolerates the two year old's attention fairly well. Scratches, of course, but that's just part of owning rats, and doesn't mean the rat isn't friendly. So I can't really tell about personality, but I assume I'll be getting a fairly people friendly girl. And I assume she'll just love having ratty friends after all this time!

twitch said:
after that i think you should talk with your mom to make sure its ok to have another rat in the house. it would be terrible if you get her all the way home and then to find out you can't keep her.
I talked, it's okay. I live in an apartment for most of the year, anyway, so it's not as up to her as it would have been, oh, three years ago. Mostly I meant that I just still like to talk about big things like this with my mother. Or at least make sure that she doesn't think it's a horrible idea, if I've already decided to go ahead with it...

So I think I'm going for it. My girls just wear on each other too much, and this poor dear needs a good home.

The only real problem here, is that when I got home, I found I had received an email saying that the cage I was planning on was no longer an option. So I could still work out a franken cage, but my current cage is 16 inches wide, and the one Lola comes with is 12 inches wide. SO, I'm gonna be a searching for a cage. But I still have some time during the intros, at least. I'll work something out, I'm sure.

twitch said:
and of course if you do get her we will want pictures. :D good luck, and keep us updated.
But of course! And thanks for the good wishes, I think (hope) this will turn out just great.
 

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Good luck and best wishes! I can't wait to see pictures! I may be getting a third myself as one of my girls had a litter and I plan on keeping a girl after the others are homed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
She's a cutie, and so friendly! She lets me pick her up no problem, but I feel kind of bad. If she she feels me touch her, she freezes, cause she's used to being sort of man handled by a two year old. She doesn't quite understand shoulder-rat yet, but I'm sure she will.

Pictures are on their way!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Update!

Lola has been quite the friendly girl. I got Belgie and Sevilla back (I missed them so much!), and I know everyone knows the other is there. Belgie almost fell off my bed trying to sniff closer to Lola's cage.

I have allowed the old girls to run around on my bed like they used to, and I have allowed Lola to run around on my bed both before and after the old girls. Lola's pretty freaked out outside of her cage, but I have faith that she'll turn around with time.

I think tonight I might let them all meet in the bath tub, see how that goes. It's so exciting!
 
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